OUD pronounced OOD, is one of the most expensive cosmetics and health commodities on the planet, being more valuable than gold !!  It is available in two forms, wood, and resin, the latter used in the manufacture of perfumes.

Getting down to basics, the bulk of the trees are grown in Vietnam and are not associated with sandalwood. Its greatest usage arrives at a time when the tree produces a fungus, a resin that coats the branches and even the roots of the trees.

Oud has many properties as it fights inflammation, reduces skin reddening, acts as an analgesic, and halts bacterial growth just a few advantages are known.

A deep spiritual history exists as texts are found in the Bhagavad Gita, Sahih Muslim, The Torah, and Buddhist texts mention it as being the scent of Nirvana. Flattened bark, rolled into tubes are also placed into urns for religious ceremonies; the burning wood releasing an enchanting aroma.

The oil is used during meditation, said to add another dimension to the “deeper self”.  Bracelets and beaded neckwear created from the wood emit a gentle fragrance and are treated as precious commodities.

Having such unique properties and with much demand, the forests are protected by armed guards, military-style.  These trees have been ravaged and have been listed on CITES [Convention for international trade of endangered species].

Last but not least, readers could well be longing for a perfume created from Oud. With Christmas so close, some hints might be dropped. Having this said, hopefully, a giver has a flourishing bank balance as perfumes range from R4775 to R11,475 per bottle!

Be it that a substitute will suffice,  a room atomizer is available at local food outlets with a combination of  “oud and amber”. One may not wear it but the fragrance is quite delightful in one’s home!